In yet another turn in the Ambattur “playground” case, the High Court on Saturday stayed the government order prohibiting the exhibition organisers from setting up stage at the playground. Citing that the land belonged to a private company and that the organisers had followed proper procedures to lease the land for the exhibition, the court issued an interim stay.
When the government order was passed on Thursday, the exhibition organisers approached the High Court for a stay, which was granted by Justice K K Sasidharan at his residence. The order stated that the “petitioner had rightfully sought the permission of the Tamil Nadu Development and Information (Exhibition) Department after getting a ‘no objection’ certificate from various government departments and was also granted permission by the owners of the vacant land, Dunlop India Limited”. Despite the grant, the Tiruvallur Collector cancelled the earlier grant without informing the petitioner, citing there was a dispute pending against Dunlop.
According to the documents produced by the company, the Calcutta High Court had passed a ‘winding-up’ order against Dunlop, but the order had been ‘stayed’ by the Supreme Court ruling that “the special officer would continue to prepare the inventory of the assets, but the land would remain in possession of the company”. Taking the Supreme Court’s order into account, the High Court ruled that the exhibition organisers had rightfully leased the land.
Speaking to Express, Dunlop spokesperson said, “We were aware that the land was being used by the residents for various sports activities, but it is a private property and we have given permission to the exhibition organisers. The case between the employees and management has nothing to do with the land,” he said. For months now, the Ambattur residents have been fighting against the exhibition organisers.